Many Rivers To Cross
Later start today due to overcast conditions and a bit too dark to go early making it somewhat dangerous to be out on the open road here in the Mekong Delta. The first couple of hours on the open road was somewhat routine as there wasn't much to see except for wetlands and mangrove forests.
After a short break and a take-away breakfast prepared by the support crew Neeson and Zueng we turned East until we hit the Mekong River for our second ferry crossing. The landscape and population became much different once reaching the other side. Local shrimp processing (drying) on the narrow road stretched for kilometres giving us a heightened sense of smell of a different kind whilst sucking in air on the bike.
I've ridden here in the Mekong Delta about 5 times from 2007-2012, but stopped riding in the whole region due to a lot of road works at the time making the riding conditions somewhat uncomfortable. In the last 4 years it would appear that roads are a cyclists dream to ride on, and we've found that to be the case over the last two days, but I'm not sure about further down South and hopefully the roads are generally smooth there as well.
On leaving Saigon yesterday I gave Giles a task; to count how many bridges and ferry crossing we will encounter. So far the bridge count is; twenty , and ferry crossings; two ...with many rivers to cross.
Today confirmed my thoughts that the monsoonal season has started and we certainly found that out about 30kms from Co Cong when the skies opened up when I was interviewing a former South Vietnamese soldier Mr.Nugyen Van Tuan at the time.
Mr. Nugyen had lost both lower limbs from a landmine in 1970 when on patrol in the Mekong Delta. We had to sit still for about 30 minutes which was fine as talking to Mr.Nugyen seemed more important to me than riding in a full on storm. The main storm front finally passed then is was climbing back on the seat for a very wet ride to our night stop here in Co Cong.
Now, drying wet gear overnight in the Mekong Delta is near an impossibility, with not too much sun out, so taking advantage of the use of the hotel hair dryer was my option last night or hope that we can find a local Vietnamese who is prepared to do the laundry on the nightly stops. The latter being very rare due to the short time on the overnight stay. The weather forecast isn't looking good for the rest of the TLRH here in the Mekong Delta, so as one of my accompanying riders (Giles) would say; "bag and tag em!!!", meaning wet and dirty clothes bagged until our day off in two more days time.